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Universal Cents Posts

The Thing About Black or White

Is that there’s also gray.

Things aren’t left or right, black or white, ones or zeros. Rather, they are left and right, black and white, one and zero.

In fact, there are usually more than two alternatives.

The path to accomplishment or happiness at work or in life is through an exploration of multiple possibilities. And then experimentation in their ways.

Always be testing.

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Opinions vs. Data

It’s easy to sit in a room and provide an opinion.

But opinions aren’t verified.

It’s exceptionally more difficult and time-consuming to analyze the quantitative and qualitative elements of a situation. 

Endeavor to deduce proven facts that assist decision-making via an analysis process.

Be good at studying data, not at having an opinion.

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Good Enough for Government Work

What an awful idiom.

Its origin implied high standards, but its use is now disparaging.

It’s a line that implies the acceptance of mediocrity and laziness.

The goal is to understand the level of “good enough” for the task at hand. Accomplishment at the highest possible level should be the focus.

Don’t polish a sneaker.

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Having it Both Ways

The balance between overbearing and never-present is delicate.

Can you let go of the reins while still steering the horse? Is there a way to lead from within without being overbearing?

Deborah Ancona says leaders “who loosen their grip – and clearly articulate who they are as leaders and what they value – can promote creative thinking while keeping employees moving in a coordinated, productive, fashion.”

So what’s that mean?

Moving forward requires a vision to create a culture that anticipates leadership intent.

Work on finding your voice.

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Problem Solving in a Complex World

When something goes wrong, it’s human nature to want to fix it. In the process of fixing it, we want to discover simple and elegant solutions. We hope that we can point to one magical property as the answer.

But life, in a complex world, is seldom that easy.

Multiple interactions of interdependent parts or actions generate problems.

Creating change, preventing problems, finding solutions…they all require knowing how everything works together within the bounds of a specific environment.

Problem-solving requires a systems approach – organizing a body of knowledge and identifying a probabilistic approach to resolve the issue.

Holistic approaches solve complicated problems.

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